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you are here: Home Sardinia the Sardinian Hinterland Aritzo


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The town's name is of uncertain origins: for some historians it derives from the Phoenician word "haratz" (strong), for others from the Basque "aritzu" (oak), while the most accepted point of view, is that it derives from the word of Nuragic origins "ar" (water). Municipality in the province of Nuoro, located on the Western slopes of the Gennargentu, in the area known as Barbagia of Belvì, surrounded by oak and chestnut woods, Aritzo is a famous mountain vacation resort, a well known and appreciated Winter and Summer destination, with easy access to the ski slopes of Desulo and Fonni. The town stretches out more than 2 km and the main historic center is located at the centre. The local economy is devoted to sheep farming, handicrafts and the production of chestnut specialities.
The area was inhabited since Neolithic times, as evidenced by the presence of several artifacts and the remains of some ancient huts. Other traces document the presence of the Phoenician and Roman civilizations. The foundation of the first settlement dates back to a few years before year 1000. During the Middle Ages the town was under the jurisdiction of the Giudicato of Arborea and during feudalism, it was under the direct control of the Corona. In the XV century, Aritzo submitted the domain of the Aragonese, while between 1760 and 1767 it belonged to the Savoia, until it was ceded to Don Salvatore Lostia. In 1839, when feudalism was abolished, the town shared the same fate of the rest of the Italian State.

- the Parish Church of San Michele Arcangelo, which features an elegant façade and is flanked by a beautiful bell tower with a square base and triple lancet windows. The building preserves an older part, which dates back to the XIV - XV centuries. Built in the late Gothic style, the construction submitted a major restoration in 1913. Inside are preserved two wooden statues depicting la Pietà and St. Christopher, respectively, of the XVII and XVIII centuries, a silver Cross of the XV century and several paintings of the artist Mura. The main altar, in polychrome marble, is XIX century artwork of architect Franco and the church houses an XVIII century organ;
- the XV century Church of St. Anthony of Padua, which features a single nave plan, flanked by a Bell Tower and preserves within a XVII century wooden altar;
- the XVII century Spanish Prisons, known with the name Sa Bovida;
- the Domus de Janas;
- the tombs of the Giants in Su Carragione;
- the Ethnographic Museum.


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